The government has made some changes to the Right to Rent legislation which will affect the way you check some of your renter's right to rent.
These changes came into effect on 06 April 2022. Below is a summary of the changes.
Physical checks for biometric card holders have cease
The way in which Biometric Residence Card (BRC), (BRP) and (FWP) holders evidence their right to rent is changing.
- Biometric Residence Card
- Biometric Residence Permit (BRC/BRPs)
- Frontier Worker Permit (FWPs)
All renters with a Biometric Residence Card, Biometric Residence Permit, or Frontier Worker Permit will only be able to provide evidence of their right to rent using the Home Office online service only.
Landlords cannot accept physical cards, listed above, for the purposes of a right to rent check even if it shows a later expiry date.
BRCs, BRPs and FWPs have been removed from the lists of acceptable documents used to conduct a manual right to rent check.
Retrospective checks will not be required on biometric card holders who, before 6 April 2022, used their physical card to demonstrate their right to rent. Landlords will maintain a statutory excuse against any civil penalty if the initial checks were undertaken in line with the guidance that applied at the time the check was made.
If a landlord chooses to undertake a retrospective check and identifies an existing tenant who no longer has a right to rent, they are required to take the appropriate action. If the tenant is an EEA citizen or non-EEA family member, further information on what steps to take is available in Annex C of the guidance.
Changes to the list of acceptable documents
The new rules have also brought changes to the lists of acceptable documents (Annex A):
amendments to List A, Group 1 and List B to remove documents issued by the Home Office to a family member of an EEA or Swiss citizen, which indicated that the holder had permission to stay in the United Kingdom
amendments to List A, Group 1, and List B to remove Biometric Immigration Documents (Biometric Residence Permit) issued by the Home Office
amendment to List B to remove frontier worker permits issued under regulation 8 of the Citizens' Rights (Frontier Workers) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020
addition to Article 4 of the 2014 Order if a Certificate of Application (CoA0 digital or non-digital confirming a valid application to the EUSS on or after 1 July 2021 together with a Positive Right to Rent Notice (PRRN) from the Landlords Checking Service (LCS)
amendment Article 4 of the 2014 Order to include an application for leave to enter or remain under Appendix EU to the Isle of Man Immigration Rules and removal of reference to applications submitted on or before 30 June 2021.
Commencement of digital checks for UK and Irish passport holders
The Government allows digital identity verification for renters who hold a valid British or Irish passport from 06 April 2022.
Digital identity verification conducted by Identity Service Providers (IDSPs) is the process of obtaining evidence of the prospective tenant’s identity, checking that it is valid and belongs to the person who is claiming it.
Landlords are able to use Identity Document Validation technology (IDVT) from an IDSP to complete the digital identity verification element of the right to rent checks but must provide individuals with other ways to prove their right to rent and should carry out manual document-based checks in these circumstances.
You must not treat less favourably those who do not hold a valid passport or do not wish to prove their identity using an IDSP.
You will only have a statutory excuse if you reasonably believe that the IDSP has carried out their checks in accordance with the guidance. The landlord remains liable for any civil penalty if there is no statutory excuse.
The Covid-related changes which enabled remote checks are in place until 30 September 2022 to allow for a period of transition, giving landlords time to establish relationships with IDSPs.